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How Does Asthma Impact Your Life

How Asthma Affects Your Airways

How Asthma Affects Your Lungs and Your Life

Asthma is a complicated disease, and doctors dont completely understand its causes. But it has two main components: inflammation and muscle constriction.

Asthma affects the airways, the bronchial tubes that carry air into the . In people with asthma, the lining of these airways becomes inflamed. No one is sure why this first develops. But certain allergy triggers or irritants begin to trigger this swelling.

If you take long-term control medicines like inhaled corticosteroids you can reduce this swelling and keep the airways healthy. But if your asthma goes untreated, problems develop. Over time, this constant inflammation can destroy the surface layer of the airways, says Hugh H. Windom, MD, associate clinical professor of immunology at the University of South Florida.

The surface layer acts as a kind of filter, Windom says. But once its gone, all of the pollutants and allergens have direct access into the lungs. So asthma can cause damage to the airways that, in turn, makes the asthma worse.

Asthma also affects the muscles that surround the airways. During an attack, these muscles tighten and further restrict the amount of air getting into the lungs.

Eventually, the constant inflammation and muscle constriction can have irreversible effects.

What Can I Do To Treat Copd

The Lung Health Institute also offers an alternative COPD treatment through cellular therapy or cellular therapy from cells from the patients own body. Highly trained Lung Health Institute medical professionals extract the patients cells from blood. Then, they separate the cells and return them to the patient intravenously. Once in circulation, the cells can begin to promote the healing of lung tissue, which can potentially improve lung function.

In a recent cellular research study, 82 percent of patients reported an increase in quality of life after cellular therapy. Also, of the patients that reported results from a pulmonary function test , 60 percent reported in results that showed improvement in lung function after treatment.

Where can I learn more about COPD treatment options at the Lung Health Institute?

With clinics nationwide, the Lung Health Institute will likely have a clinic near you. We are happy to answer your questions and discuss cellular therapy options with you today. For more information about COPD treatment options at the Lung Health Institute, feel free to contact us at 888-745-6697.

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Classification Of Conditions And Confounders

For this analysis, subjects were classified as having current asthma if they responded positively to both of the following questions: Have you ever been told by a doctor or nurse that you have asthma? and Do you still get asthma?. All other subjects were classified as not having current asthma. Subjects were classified as having diabetes if they responded positively to the question Have you ever been told by a doctor or a nurse that you have diabetes?. Subjects were classified as having arthritis if they responded positively to the question Do you currently have osteoarthritis rheumatoid arthritis gout rheumatism other type of arthritis and other arthropathies? Information on the following potential confounding factors, available from the questionnaire, were also used in the analysis: age group , sex, quintiles of socioeconomic status of area of residence using the Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage , smoking status, and body mass index . The last of these was defined as underweight , overweight , or normal based on self-reported height and weight.

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How Do You Know When Asthma Is Gone

No Symptoms but Is Asthma Really Gone? While the asthma symptoms may have abated or significantly decreased, the underlying inflammation and other parts of the pathophysiology of asthma are still present. The only way to definitively tell if inflammation and mucus plugging are still present would be to do a biopsy.

Global Alliance Against Chronic Respiratory Diseases

What is Asthma

The Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases contributes to WHOs work to prevent and control chronic respiratory diseases. GARD is a voluntary alliance of national and international organizations and agencies from many countries committed to the vision of a world where all people breathe freely.

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Diagnosing Asthma In Children Younger Than 6

It can be hard to tell whether a child under age 6 has asthma or another respiratory condition, because young children often cannot perform a pulmonary function test such as spirometry. After checking a childs history and symptoms, the doctor may try asthma medicines for a few months to see how well a child responds. About 40% of children who wheeze when they get colds or respiratory infections are eventually diagnosed with asthma.

Identify And Avoid Your Triggers

It’s important to identify possible asthma triggers by making a note of where you are and what you’re doing when your symptoms get worse.

Some triggers can be hard to avoid, but it may be possible to avoid some, such as dust mites, pet fur and some medicines.

You’ll have regular contact with your doctor or asthma nurse to monitor your condition.

These appointments may involve:

  • talking about your symptoms for example, if they’re affecting your normal activities or are getting worse
  • a discussion about your medicines including if you think you might be experiencing any side effects and if you need to be reminded how to use your inhaler
  • breathing tests

It’s also a good chance to ask any questions you have or raise any other issues you want to discuss.

You may be asked to help monitor your condition between appointments. For example, you may be advised to check your peak flow if you think your symptoms may be getting worse.

Your personal action plan should say what to do if your symptoms get gradually or suddenly worse. Contact your doctor or asthma nurse if you’re not sure what to do.

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Limitations Due To Environmental Triggers

The most frequently mentioned trigger that resulted in social limitations according to the children was exposure to environmental cigarette smoke. Moreover, children disliked the fact that they were not allowed to keep a furry pet or to caress such a pet. Due to seasonal changes, children experienced the difference between periods with relative mild symptoms compared to periods with more frequent or severe symptoms. Finally, the avoidance of house dust resulted in important limitations according to the children, like no permission to play at a dusty attic.

Illustrative quotes regarding limitations due to environmental triggers

“Because we have two attics and in one of them we might be allowed to build a hut and then I can hardly go in it.”

“Yes, because mummy and daddy, they do that a lot and then I have to go to the living room, because daddy and mummy are doing it in the kitchen.”

“I can’t play with furry animals, and we don’t have a dog either but daddy does want one.”

A Hallmark Of Severe Disease: Health

How is asthma caused?

Quality of life is defined as an individual’s satisfaction or happiness with life or well-being that is subjective, multidimensional and dynamic, compromising six domains: physical, psychological, level of independence, social relationships, environment, and spirituality/religion and/or personal beliefs . However, with QoL so neatly and formally defined without the mention of health, researchers and academics developed and introduced the concept of HRQoL . HRQoL is described as the part of a person’s overall QoL determined primarily by their health status . It is defined as the functional effects of an illness and its consequent therapy upon a patient, as perceived by the patient . In severe asthma, HRQoL is an outcome measure used to characterise both individuals and populations as well as evaluate therapeutic interventions . Importantly, HRQoL in severe asthma is frequently impaired and may be one of the hallmarks of severe disease.

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Asthma Life Insurance Rates

Life insurance underwriters look at the medications you take and classify those medications into three categories:

First Line Therapies First Line therapies are medications such as inhaled bronchodilators, inhaled corticosteroids, and some pill medications.

Examples would be medications such as Advair, Albuterol, Flovent, Atrovent, Singulair, Accolate, and others.

Second Line Therapies Second Line Therapies for asthma are medications such as Alupent, Brethine, Theo-Dur, Slo-bid, Ventoline,

And short use of medications such as Prednisone, and Prednisolone.

Third Line Therapies Third Line Therapies for asthma include continuous use of oral or injected steroids,

Methotrexate, Cyclosporine, Sandimmune and others.

Asthma Attack And Respiratory Failure

People with severe asthma also have an increased risk for respiratory failure. Respiratory failure occurs when not enough oxygen travels from your lungs to your blood. Life-threatening asthma is rare, but tends to cause symptoms that get progressively worse over several days. Ask your doctor more about your treatment options and how to manage your condition, if you believe you may have asthma that is life-threatening.

If respiratory failure isnt treated immediately, it can lead to death. The estimates that nine Americans die from asthma every day. There are more than 4,000 asthma-related deaths a year in America. But many of these deaths are preventable with proper symptom and emergency care.

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Finding Doctors For Asthma

Which healthcare professionals are on your asthma treatment team may depend on factors like what your insurance covers and what services are available where you live. Depending on the severity of your asthma, your individual needs, and what you have access to, your asthma care team may include the following experts:

  • Primary care physician

Comparison With Existing Asthma

World Asthma Day

Most components of HRQL according to the participants in our focus group sessions are also part of at least one of the four most prominent questionnaires . Components from our study that are not part of these questionnaires are: sore throat and triggers other than cigarette smoke. A sore throat is not a direct effect of asthmatic disease but could be a side effect of cough and/or the use of inhaled corticosteroids. In contrast, waking up at night is an item in all questionnaires but was not an issue according to the children in our focus group sessions. All items of the existing childhood asthma-specific HRQL questionnaires were specifically explored if the children did not spontaneously mention these components. Also, when the moderator probed waking up at night, the majority of children declared that this was not an important issue. Environmental triggers were not part of any of the four questionnaires, except for not being allowed to caress a pet. That environmental triggers can influence the health-related quality of life of children with asthma has been emphasized recently .

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Signs Symptoms And Complications

How often signs and symptoms of asthma occur may depend on how severe, or intense, the asthma is and whether you are exposed to allergens. Some people have symptoms every day, while others have symptoms only a few days of the year. For some people, asthma may cause discomfort but does not interfere with daily activities. If you have more severe asthma, however, your asthma may limit what you are able to do.

When asthma is well controlled, a person shows few symptoms. When symptoms worsen, a person can have what is called an asthma attack, or an exacerbation. Over time, uncontrolled asthma can damage the airways in the lungs.

Yoga Poses To Help With Asthma

A study published in 2015 in the journal BMJ Open Respiratory Research showed that higher levels of physical activity were associated with significantly better asthma control those who exercised the most were 2.5 times better at controlling their asthma compared with people who werent physically active. And exercise can also help you maintain a healthy weight, which can be important for asthma management according to the NHLBI. Obesity can negatively impact asthma control, and as little as a 5 to 10 percent weight loss can help asthma symptoms.

Before embarking on any physical activity, be sure to talk with your doctor about how you can exercise safely with asthma. Your doctor may recommend strategies like warming up before workouts and taking breaks to avoid unnecessary physiological stress or overexertion, or advise which combination of medications you might need and when to take them before workouts, says Paul V. Williams, MD, an allergist-immunologist in private practice in Seattle and a clinical professor of pediatrics in the allergy division at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. Your doctor may also have tips to avoid asthma triggers, like working out indoors to avoid cold weather , checking pollen counts, or planning to steer clear of high-pollution areas before going outside for a workout, says Dr. Williams.

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Effect Of Current Medications On Severe Asthma Progression And Mortality

Most patients can achieve satisfactory control of their asthma from an ICS with or without a LABA. However, 510% have severe disease, requiring extensive treatment to achieve control or remaining uncontrolled despite such treatment . This subgroup accounts for the majority of morbidity and mortality due to asthma, and for 60% of the total healthcare costs attributable to asthma. Furthermore, patients with a recent history of an asthma exacerbation have particularly high annual healthcare costs, estimated to be three times those of patients with severe asthma and no history of an exacerbation .

Severe asthma is heterogeneous with respect to the clinical problem, nature of lung function impairment and underlying pathology . It is often complex, as many patients have a clinically severe condition primarily because the diagnosis is incorrect, or due to issues with inhaler technique or treatment adherence. Other patients have persistent asthma-like symptoms primarily driven by comorbid factors. The international European Respiratory Society/American Thoracic Society guidelines on severe asthma acknowledge these difficulties and have produced the most widely accepted definition . This is asthma which requires treatment to prevent it from becoming uncontrolled or which remains uncontrolled despite this therapy. The diagnosis of asthma should be confirmed and comorbidities addressed before making a diagnosis of severe asthma.

Signs You Actually Have Severe Asthma

How Lifestyle Choices Can Affect Your Asthma

Breathing is just one of those things you take for granted until it feels like every inhale or exhale is a struggle. Unfortunately, people with severe asthma have to deal with breathing issues way more often than anyone should, and it can be completely terrifying.

Asthma is a respiratory condition that affects the airways that extend from your nose and mouth to your lungs, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute . When youre exposed to triggers like animal fur, pollen, mold, exercise, and respiratory infections, these airways can narrow, restricting your airflow. This can then make the muscles surrounding your airways constrict, making it even harder to breathe, and cause your airways to produce more mucus than normal, further compounding the problem. All together, this can lead to asthma symptoms like shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing , and chest tightness or pain, according to the NHLBI.

Like most health conditions, asthma severity runs along a spectrum, Emily Pennington, M.D., a pulmonologist at the Cleveland Clinic, tells SELF. Some people have cases where they experience minor symptoms here and there . Others can have asthma that is basically an ever-present problem and might result in scary asthma attacks, which is when symptoms ramp up in severity and can even become life-threatening.


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Social Life When You Have Severe Asthma

Do you ever turn down social events, parties and evenings out with friends and family because of your severe asthma? Or feel you miss birthdays or big events like weddings because of your health?

In an Asthma UK survey, 70% told us that severe asthma gets in the way of their social life.

You may find severe asthma only affects your social life from time to time, and doesnt often stop you doing the things you enjoy with your friends and family. Or it might have a bigger impact, and stop you going out.

Although you may need to stay in when youre having lots of symptoms or if youve recently had an asthma attack, having severe asthma doesnt have to mean missing out on social events altogether. Making some simple changes can help you make the most of the good days so you can enjoy time with your friends and family.

Managing Stress And Asthma

Stress and anxiety can trigger asthma symptoms, and in turn, uncontrolled asthma can increase stress and anxiety. By managing stress through therapy, breathing practices, and other relaxation techniques, people with asthma can reduce their risk of having a stress-induced asthma attack or episode. Studies show that mindful breathing and observation can reduce stress and enhance overall health, according to the AAFA.

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Changing Concepts In Asthma Diagnosis Severity Assessment And Treatment And Their Effects On Asthma Progression And Mortality

The first guidelines on asthma diagnosis and management were published in the late 1980s . The development of these documents was stimulated by an increase in asthma-related mortality in several countries , and a marked increase in asthma prevalence in many countries in the 1970s and 1980s . These were consensus statements, rather than formal evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, but all identified the need to establish the diagnosis of asthma using objective criteria to document variable lung function, which has not changed over time, and recommended treatment options based on the perceived severity of the disease. The objectives of treatment were to improve symptom control and lung function. The importance of airway inflammation in asthma pathogenesis had already been identified , but the early documents did not emphasise the benefits of anti-inflammatory treatments, and as a result medications that rapidly improved symptoms and lung function, particularly inhaled 2-agonists, were the focus of treatment, especially for patients with mild-to-moderate asthma.


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